That pretty much is what this thing boils down to. HL Gates comes home from a 20 hour flight from China and Sgt. Cowley exhibits the trademark chip-on-the-shoulder that every cop has from years of dealing with wise asses and much, much worse, a chip that most of us learn about when we’re teenagers.
A tired Gates comes home after probably standing in 20 lines and stuffed in a plane from China, only to find he can’t open his door and he forces it open. Minutes later he’s (no doubt) startled by a cop about someone breaking into his house. So a grumpy and tired Gates barks out something about being a black man in America.
Sgt Cowley (I would guess) gives a silent sigh and says to himself, “Another load mouth, I’m just downing my job, someone called, let me do my job and get out of here”. But Gates is cranky from lack lot of sleep over the last few days and turns up the volume by getting on the phone asking who Crowley’s boss is, that you don’t mess with him.
I don’t need to put up with this crap, Crowley by now must feel…and he said something about my mama. We need to take this outside on the porch and if this guy continues, he’ll find out who he is messing with.
And sure enough, Gates is letting all the negative energy from the last 24 hours of traveling and keeps it up. And now Crowley has his peers and some civilians watching as Gates (loudly) calls him a racist and a few other choice words. And for Crowley, he has the letter of the law on his side because the charge of being disorderly is easy…scream across the street at someone and you are being disorderly. Crowley was being disrespected and cops don’t like being disrespected, so on go the cuffs.
I’m sure, seven days later; many of us are scratching our heads wondering how this whole thing made it up the President of the United States and was worthy to be part of a nationally televised press conference. But it was…two guys were having crappy days and it turns into a media shit storm that just won’t die. (And I predict the “stupidly” comment will be beaten to death by the rightwing blogs for months and months.)
Folks can analyze the racist angle all they want, but the evolution of this event into the media storm it is, is equally interesting